Saturday, June 12, 2010

RACE REPORT - Peters Canyon Trail Run #1

Competition... without it, the well of focused training begins to run dry. I hit my stopwatch to start another 10 mile run followed by a 15 mile bike all at 75% or less of my max heart rate and I wonder if I'm really improving on my fitness when one long run feels just like the last long run. Fortunately the first competition on my race schedule was coming up and though it was only a 5 mile run (no biking or swimming this day) it's a course that has nearly 1,000 feet of elevation gain in those 5 miles. A great opportunity to see where my run fitness is at. I was joined by my wife Liz and our neighbor Susanna. The weather was perfect for running, overcast and cool. This race is a great well organized small event (400 runners) that runs through a wilderness park near our house. A post race BBQ is served to deserving runners after a hard run. The course is mostly on fire roads with some single track and each race of the series they alternate the course to run clockwise or counter clockwise. Today they would run the race counter clockwise which I feel is the harder direction. The reason, it puts all of the hard climbing at the front of the race and I just don't feel warmed up after only one mile before the climbing starts.
The gun went off and I settled in to a hard but controlled tempo to warm up. My goal was to run hard but not all out and see if I could beat my PR for this course from last year. If my training is on track for Ironman I should...but you never know. Last year at this race I injured my hamstring so I didn't want to treat this as an all out race for fear of another hamstring injury. On the hilly part of the course I managed to catch some runners who were ahead of me. I looked at my watch with 1.5 miles to go and knew I was running well. My final official time was 42:42 beating my previous best on this course by over three minutes. What did I learn from this race? My training plan is working. All of the base mileage runs keeping my HR under control are paying off. Now I can refocus on my training knowing I'm going to reap the benefits at my next competition.

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